An Installer’s Guide to ASTM: F2200: Must-Read Instructions for All Installers of Automated Gates

© 2008 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Summer 2008
Author: Randy Baker
Pages 60-62

An Installer’s Guide to ASTM F2200
Must-Read Instructions for All Installers of Automated Gates

By Randy Baker, Linear/Osco Product Marketing Manager

This article appeared first in the American Fence Association’s Guide to Fence Materials and Products 2007-2008 and the November/December 2007 issue of Fencepost. It is reprinted with permission and edited for DAS readers.

To survive in today’s increasingly complex access-control market, every installer and manufacturer of automated gates must understand two safety standards: (1) ASTM F2200 (Standard Specification for Automated Vehicular Gate Construction) and (2) UL 325 (Standard for Safety for Door, Drapery, Gate, Louver, and Window Operators and Systems).

Voluntary but Valuable

Both are “voluntary standards,” meaning each company can decide whether they want to comply with the standards. However, over the past several years, customers and the courts are increasingly expecting the access control industry to adhere to these standards.

If your company is selling and installing access control and automated gate systems, you will be expected to know and comply with these standards on every job. Ignorance of the standards is not a viable excuse in a court of law. Failure to understand and apply these standards can result in an unsafe gate system and costly liability for your company.

Four Usage Classes

ASTM F2200 provides manufacturing and installation standards for automated gate designers, manufacturers, and installers. The standard is divided into sections that cover general requirements, specific applications, and individual gate types. Gate installations are categorized in four usage classes based on the type of traffic expected.

Class I: Residential
This class pertains to a vehicle gate operator or system intended for use in a home or one to four single-family dwellings or an associated garage or parking area.

Class II: Commercial or General Public Access
This applies to a system in a commercial location or a building such as a multi-family housing unit (five or more single-family units), hotel, garage, retail store, or other public building that serves the public.

Class III: Industrial or Limited Access
A Class III installation has a vehicular gate operator or system in an industrial location or building such as a factory or loading dock area or other locations not intended to serve the public.

Class IV: Restricted Access
This is a vehicular gate operator or system in a guarded industrial location or building such as an airport security area or other restricted access locations not serving the public. Unauthorized access is prevented by security personnel.

Installation Requirements for Gates

The general requirements of ASTM F2200 apply to all gate types and usage classes.
They are as follows:

  • Gates must be installed so that they will not fall over more than 45 degrees from the vertical plane when detached from the supporting hardware.
  • All gates must have smooth bottom edges with vertical protrusions no greater than 1/2".
  • Barbed tape may not be installed on a gate less than 8' above grade.
  • Barbed wire may not be installed on a gate less than 6' above grade.
  • Gate latches designed for a manual gate must be removed when a manually operated gate is retrofitted with a gate operator. Gate latches should not be installed on automated gates.
  • Protrusions are not permitted on any gate. ASTM F2200 lists several exceptions to this requirement, such as top pickets on ornamental gates, gate locks, wheels, and positive stops. Consult the standard for specific exceptions.
  • Gates must be installed so that motion will not be initiated by gravity when the gate is disconnected from the gate operator.

Installation Requirements for Automated Gates

ASTM F2200 also contains specific requirements regarding automated gate installations.

  • Existing manually operated gates that are to be automated must be brought up to the standard.
  • The standard does not apply to gates that are never intended to be automated.
  • When an existing older gate operator is replaced with a new operator, the gate must be brought up to the standard.

Installation Requirements for Automated Horizontal Slide Gates
The standard also includes requirements for horizontal slide gates installed in Class I, II, or III applications.

  • All weight-bearing exposed rollers less than 8' above grade must be guarded or covered.
  • Any openings in the gate (or that portion of the fence line that the gate covers in the open position) must be guarded or screened to a height of 48" above grade so that a 2.25" sphere will not pass through. This section is in harmony with UL 325 and is designed to prevent reach-through accidents.
  • All openings between 48" and 72" above grade must be guarded or screened to prevent a 4" sphere from passing through.
  • All gaps or openings between the gate panel and a support structure (such as a gate post) must not exceed 2.25".
  • Positive stops are required to limit travel to the fully open and fully closed positions. This prevents a gate from traveling beyond its intended limits and falling off the supporting hardware.
  • Horizontal slide gates must be designed with sufficient lateral stability. This ensures that the gate will enter a receiver guide that must be recessed behind the leading edge of the receiver post or mounted at least 8' above grade.
  • Dual panel sliding gate receiver guides may be mounted on either panel, but must have a cross-sectional surface area of at least 9
  • For Class IV slide gate applications, only the exposed roller and positive stop requirements are applicable.

Installation Requirements for Automated Horizontal Swing Gates
Here are the standard’s requirements for vehicular horizontal swing gates installed in Class I, II, or III applications.

  • Gates must be designed, constructed, and installed so that they do not create an entrapment hazard between the gate and any fixed object that it approaches while opening.
  • To prevent an entrapment zone, the distance between any fixed object and a swing gate must be at least 16". If this distance cannot be maintained, the zone must be protected with secondary entrapment protection devices as required by UL 325.
  • The width of an object such as a column or gate post that is covered by a gate in the fully open position must not exceed 4". Swing gates must be mounted at the back of a column so an entrapment zone is not created between the gate and a supporting column. If this requirement cannot be met, the entrapment zone must be protected according to the provisions of UL 325.

It is extremely important that automated gate designers, manufacturers, and installers understand and comply with these industry standards for all automated gate installations. The safety of our customers and the reputation of our businesses depend on it.

Additional details about ASTM F2200 and UL 325 can be obtained through the DASMA Web site at DASMA Technical Data Sheets 353 and 370, respectively, provide more details and rationale behind the UL 325 and ASTM F2200 standards.

Randy Baker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. In the industry since 2002, he serves on the DASMA Gate Operator Committee.